In those years, people will say, we lost track
of the meaning of we, of you
we found ourselves
reduced to I
and the whole thing became
silly, ironic, terrible:
we were trying to live a personal life
and yes, that was the only life
we could bear witness to

But the great dark birds of history screamed and plunged
into our personal weather
They were headed somewhere else but their beaks and pinions drove
along the shore, through the rags of fog
where we stood, saying I

Analysis, meaning and summary of Adrienne Rich's poem In Those Years

1 Comment

  1. dwight Eastman says:

    this poem goes so to the heart of my sense of having lived in the 20th century. it is a friend from the 60s who led me to it, a friend with whom I share efforts to live an authentic personal life, with whom i have suffered the separation from “we”, and with whom I continue to respond to the “dark birds of history” who demand our love for each other.

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